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    Wednesday, November 27, 2002

    I won't be updating this blog for the next few days. I'll be back in business on Tuesday, Dec. 3.

    Until then, peep the stories below and do your holiday shopping through The Rocktober.Com Gift Guide

    • Vivendi's Mixed 3Q Results Show Drop In US
      Vivendi Universal SA yesterday reported a net loss of 1.23 billion euros ($1.22 billion) for the third quarter, reflecting large capital losses on asset sales, increased tax payments and large interest payments on its massive debt. In the third quarter of last year, the company's net loss was only 960 million euros. The operating earnings of Universal Music Group, Vivendi's music division and the world's largest record company, plunged 89% to 16 million euros, weighed down by the higher cost of signing new acts and higher provisions for returns of unsold compact discs. Doug Morris, chairman of Universal Music Group, said "half of our income comes in the fourth quarter, while a person close to Universal Music said the company has been cutting costs gradually for the past 18 months but was under no pressure from Vivendi to cut costs further. How can you lose that much money and not be under any pressure to further cut costs? That's bananas.

    • Backstreet Suit Claims Boys Were Bypassed In Favor Of Nick Carter
      The Backstreet Boys are suing Zomba Recording Corporation, the parent company of the group's label, Jive Records, claiming a fourth studio album was bypassed in favor of the solo project by group member Nick Carter. Interestingly wnough, Nick Carter is party to the suit. A statement issued by the group said: "We are committed to the Backstreet Boys, and we will protect our group from anybody or anything that tries to break us apart. We are disappointed that our longtime label Jive Records has attempted to irresponsibly exploit our group. The five of us are writing for our new CD and setting concert dates for our upcoming worldwide summer tour."

    • Transcript of Larry King Interview With Johnny Cash
      Larry King isn't usually my cup of tea, but this interview with Johnny Cash was amazing. If it is ever re-broadcast, be sure to catch it== but in the meantime read the transcript.. And if you haven't yet picked up American IV: The Man Comes Around, do yourself a favor and do so by clicking here. And if you haven't yet read
      Cash: The Autobiography, click here to buy it. It's an amazing life story, country fan or not.

    • Early Bob Marley Tape To Be Auctioned
      An audiotape of Bob Marley playing with musician Jimmy Norman will be sold at auction next month at Christie's. The tape, in "fragile, but good playing condition," features Marley playing guitar while Norman plays piano and Marley's wife, Rita, and Norman's wife, Dorothy, sing backup. Christie's will auction the tape Dec. 20, along with other memorabilia such as items bearing the signatures of The Beatles, and clothing worn by Elvis Presley in the movies "Speedway" and "Double Trouble." Click here to see a picture of the tape.

    • The Roots: Bold as Love
      Very good interview on VH1.Com with ?uestlove and Black Thought of The Roots. They have very interesting things to say about their new album, Phrenology, the state of the hip-hop nation and their place in the music scene. My fave quote comes from ?uestlove (referring to De La Soul currently being without a record contract): "Bob Dylan can record for Columbia Records for as long as he lives, but in hip-hop everyone gets their 15 minutes and thatís it. Hip-hop is always about yesterdayís news yesterday, and whatís tomorrow?. By the way, Phrenology is an amazing album for the most part. It is The Roots' OK Computer or Revolver-- namely the album that shows a new maturity, willingness to experiment and will open ears of new fans who had previously written them off. Listen to it via streaming by clicking here and then click here to buy it.

    posted by Randy on 11:28 AM | permanent link to this entry

    Tuesday, November 26, 2002

    Have a music fiend you need to buy presents for this holiday season? Be sure to drop by The Gift Guide for some great suggestions!

    • BMG Completes $2.74B Purchase of Zomba
      German media giant Bertelsmann AG announced today that their BMG arm has completed the $2.74 billion purchase of Jive, home to the Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync, and Britney Spears (as well as gangsta rapper E-40 and the pimp-tastic Too $hort). Former Zomba majority owner Clive Calderis leaving his post as chairman and chief executive but will continue to serve as a part-time adviser, when not rolling around in a large pile of money while laughing hysterically. He's not laughing as loudly as he was back in June, when the purchase price was put at 3 billion.

    • Creed Singer's Ex-Wife Arrested For Assaulting Rocker
      Those of us here who have never wanted to hit Scott Stapp of Creed in the face while holding a cell phone, please raise your hand. That's what I thought. Can they find a jury who will convict Hillaree Stapp? Doubtful.

    • Top Talent To Rock New Year's With Clark
      I'll be spinngthe platters that matter this NYE, so I post this item for the kids out there who are like I was back in the day-- spending NYE with Dick Clark. "Dick Clark's Primetime New Year's Rockin' Eve" is an hour-long show that will air at 10 p.m. and feature highlights of the top tours of 2002, with footage of Coldplay, John Mayer, and Alabama. "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 2002, Part 1," will start at 11:35 and will feature performances by B2K, Kelly Clarkson, Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott, Las Ketchup, Nelly, Rod Stewart, Third Eye Blind, Justin Timberlake, and Uncle Kracker. , "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve 2002, Part 2," will air at 1:05 a.m and will feature more performances from B2K, Clarkson, Elliott, Nelly, Third Eye Blind, Timberlake, and Uncle Kracker.

    • Songwriters Settle Eagles Royalty Suit
      Jackson Browne and fellow songwriters J.D. Souther and Jack Tempchinhave settled a lawsuit with publisher Warner/Chappell Music over millions of dollars in royalties from The Eagles' Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975), which included several songs the three helped write. The three songwriters had alleged that Warner had liscenced the songs Elektra/Asylum/Nonesuch in a way that the royalty paid to songwriters each time a song is played was set at fixed rate of 2.4 cents per song rather than under a formula that would allow it to rise with inflation over time-- costing the songwriters royalties in excess of $10 million in more than 25 years since the album's release. Details of the settlement are confidential.

    • Outkast's Dre Taking 'Hater' To Big Screen
      OutKast's Andre' 3000 is set to star in "Love Hater," a film to be directed by actor Morgan Freeman Set in the mid-1970s, "Hater" is the story of upper-middle-class musical prodigy (to be played by Dre) and lower-class free spirit whose families don't want them to be together. The stakes go up when an accidental shooting caused by the free spirit's racist brother forces the lovers to go on the run.

    • Bertelsmann unveils alliance with Amazon
      CD Nowis dead. Long live CD Now. From now on, takes over the day-to-day running of CD Now, Bertelsmann's online music store. BeMusic, Bertelsmann's US music club unit and owner of the CD Now business, will concentrate on promoting its own higher-margin products on the website - the music it licenses, manufactures and sells to members through its paper catalogues - instead of acting as a pure reseller for music labels.

    • Family Taps Zappa Vault With New Imprint
      Zappa heads out there get ready to rejoice and enjoy aflodd of previously unreleased material. Dweezil Zappa has started a new label, Vaulternative, to make available scores of unreleased recordings by his late father, Frank Zappa. Dweezil says he plans on concentrating on really large and really small versions of Zappa's band. The first release, a 2 CD set of a live concert performance recorded at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney Australia on January 20, 1976, is available at

    • Body Of Coasters' Billy Guy Remains Unclaimed
      Billy Guy, one of the original members of The Coasters (he sang baritone on the classic hits "Searchin"' and "Yakety Yak") died Nov. 6 of heart disease at age 66. He's been on ice since then at the Garden Memorial Mortuary as friends try to scrounge up his estranged off-spring so they can claim the body and avoid his being buried in an unmarkled paupers grave. His girlfirned of 30 years can't claim the body becuase they weren't married. His daughter was found, but can't afford it. Very sad.

    • NBC News Creates Investigative Unit
      NBC News' Lisa Myers has been named chief investigative correspondent for a newly created investigative reporting unit that will tackle coverage of U.S. counterterrorism efforts, corporate corruption and international issues.To me, this reads like a giant "fuck you" to those behind the proposed CNN/ABC News merger. Innovate, don't conslidate.

    posted by Randy on 12:02 PM | permanent link to this entry

    Monday, November 25, 2002

    The Gift Guide is ready to help you shop for the music obsessive on your holiday gift giving list. Now featuring a DVDs For Music Obsessives page. Don't forget to consider The 21 Best CDs of 2002! Coming soon: Books and Lost Classics Shop early and shop often!

    • Benzino Ignites Beef By Calling Eminem '2003 Vanilla Ice'
      "Pull Your Skirt Up," a song by rapper/The Source owner Benzino, features lyrics that call Eminem "2003 Vanilla Ice," in the context of a white dude making money off what has traditionally been a black art and the Big Media Machine supporting it blindly. Wasting no time, Emienem has already released two songs in retaliation-- "I Don't Wanna" and "Nail in the Coffin." Both songs roast Benzino for being nearly 40, using The Source to promote his projects (that no one ever likes), portraying himself as black when he's really half-white/half Puerto Rican and for dissing him in order to help his sagging career. If you can get your hands on the songs, they are worth the search. I can't post 'em here due to bandwith issues.

    • More Music From '8 Mile' Due On Second Soundtrack
      Speaking of Eminem-- More Music From '8 Mile' will hit stores on December 3. It will features songs that were actually in the movie-- a novelty, I realize. Mobb Deep's "Shook Ones Pt. 2," (which was important in the film's first and final scenes) and classics from OutKast, Wu Tang Clan. Method Man and more.
      Pre-order More Music From 8 Mile from by clicking here

    • America Online and Time Inc. Consider Content Deal
      America Online and Time Inc. are in discussions about making Time Inc.'s magazine content available via America Online, rather than the entire Internet. This is what happens when AOL's subscriber base starts to sag. With so much free competition out there, I can't imagine that anyone would sign up for the crappy AOL service just to read the magazines for free. I could be wrong, but it doesn't sound right to me.

    • The Case Against an ABC/CNN Merger
      Very good piece from BusinessWeek about why the proposed ABC/CNN merger is just bananas. Well worth reading.

    • AOL Chief Backs Digital Recording For Cable Boxes
      Big day for AOL stories. During a media conference at New York University examining the relationship of Madison Avenue and Hollywood, AOL CEO Richard Parsons said the company supports the abilities to fast-forward, pause or rewind live TV, but not such features as sending copies of shows to other people over the Internet or buttons that allow users to automatically skip ahead 30 seconds at a time. Mark his words. Remember them. 'Cause when it comes time for the lawsuits, it'll be important to remember that he's okay with digital recording.

    posted by Randy on 2:52 PM | permanent link to this entry

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